Another year of major golf championships has come and gone and again Tiger Woods did not raise the trophy. That’s five years now since his last major, leaving him stuck on 14 at least until next April when the Masters takes place at Augusta National.
The last major of the year went to Jason Duffner, a former Auburn player, who is an unassuming a golfer as there is. He won the PGA Championship Sunday at Oak Hill in upstate New York with a final round 68, holding off second-place Jim Fryuk by two shots.
Woods had long since finished another bad round by the time Duffner raised his hands in victory. Woods shot an even round 70, which was good enough to place him 40th.
With five wins on the year, including an impressive, seven-shot victory last week, the feeling was that Woods would at least challenge for his 15th major. Didn’t happen. He was at minus-2 early in his first round, missed a three-foot put for birdie and fell off the rest of the tournament.
He was close in the Masters and the British Open, but he faltered on the weekend of those tournaments. At the PGA, he never found his game.
“Yeah, I was close in two of them,” Woods said. “I was right there and certainly had a chance to win the Masters and British this year. The other two, I just didn’t hit it good enough. Just the way it goes.”
Woods did not break 70 this week, which was not expected after taking the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at the Firestone Country Club, where he shot 265, 15-under par, and won by seven strokes.
“I put four good rounds [together] last week, unfortunately it wasn’t this week,” Woods said. “Didn’t seem to hit it as good and didn’t make many putts until the last few holes today. But I didn’t give myself many looks and certainly didn’t hit the ball good enough to be in it.”
To illustrate his point, Woods made just 10 birdies in the four days.
“It’s more frustrating not being in it,” he said. “Having a chance on the back nine on Sunday, I can live with that. It’s always frustrating going out there. . . I’m 3 over today, got to 7 and I’m grinding my tail off coming in just to shoot even par for the day. And I’m nowhere in it.”
Up next for Woods is the FedEx Cup playoffs, and the five-time winner this year on the PGA Tour leads the points standings by a considerable margin. He is expected to play the first event beginning Aug. 22 at the Barclays. Following the four FedEx Cup events is the Presidents Cup. Woods is scheduled to play a tournament on the European Tour in Turkey in November.
“We have a long way to go to that and I have a lot golf to play between now and then, not just the rest of our season but overseas as well and beginning of next year,” Woods said. “We have got a long way to go for that.”